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How To Start A Compost?

No, I didn't make a typo in the title of this post and I didn't leave any words out either. It's the odd name of an article about composting on the new MSN Green website.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to see more and more green/environmental sites that talk about compost but this article just feels a little bit off. Like maybe it was run through a translator program or something. How to start a compost? Listen to this part too ...


Composts need constant attention. Your pile should be wet, warm and mixed regularly. (This is why some bins come with a handle!) Like we said, the perfect recipe is hard to get right off the bat, but once you master it, you’ll never look back.
Once again there's an confusing choice of words (composts), but I really don't agree with the constant attention part either. As I've written many times here on this blog, compost will happen all by itself without any help from you. Make a pile of leaves and grass and next year the bottom of that pile will be compost.

Now if you want it to happen quicker than it naturally does, then that's when your pile will need some attention. Your constant attention can be saved for your newborn baby or for your stock portfolio. Your compost bin will be just fine if you only check on it every couple of days.

Overall, MSN Green is worth checking out. But in the future, I'd like them to fix their translator or whatever caused the confusing jargon and perhaps they could make composting sound a little easier if they want people to actually try it.

15 Comments:

  1. Annie in Austin said...
    Hi Anthony,

    Very interesting, and somewhat useful, but you're right that nature doesn't pay attention to compost -and once the compost gets going, the worms usually appear without the gardener's intervention!

    After reading the article and noticing a few other words that seemed more British than US, like "bureau", I went to the Janes page. One of them is from Canada, and the same term, "A Compost" is found on the Candadian Greenpeace Compost Page. Our Canadian garden blogging friends may know more about this.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    lisa said...
    Yea, I'm not sure if that article helps or hurts a beginner's perception of compost. I was intimidated when I first started, and gave myself fits about it all. Ultimately, I just got busy with life and let my composter take care of itself(I only mixed it once this year, and added stuff twice) and you know what? I got compost anyway!
    Katie said...
    Hmm. Like they say, "No publicity is bad publicity."
    Sue Swift said...
    Don't think it has been through an automatic translator Anthony. The results would be far, far worse ...
    Jessica The Gardening Nut said...
    Hi Anthony,

    This is my first visit and I love your approach to composting matters. I've added the site to my Del.icio.us tags.

    Jessica, the Gardening Nut
    My Compost Bin Lens
    Anthony said...
    Sorry that I haven't gotten back to anyone. Blogger has been placed on the blocked list at work and I can't answer comments until I get home.

    Annie, thanks for the insight. You're right, it seems like a compost is the Canadian way to say it.

    Lisa, yes, compost just has a way of happening all by itself. :)

    Katie, that's true in Hollywood but it may not apply to a pile of garbage. :)

    Sue, it's true. Those things are usually humorous.

    Hi Jessica, thanks for visiting and thanks for the tags. Nice lens you've got there. I used to Squidoo but haven't done anything with my lens in years.
    Sophia said...
    Anthony, I would like my church Youth Group to build a compost bin for the church. If we only give it attention once a week, should we expect any type of disasterous results?
    Anthony said...
    Sophia, sure, it shouldn't be a problem checking on the pile only once a week. And when the cold temperatures come, you could stop. Not much happens in a compost pile during winter.

    If you want to play it safe you could stick to leaves and grass clippings as ingredients for now. Introducing food scraps might increase the likelihood of a stinky pile that people complain about. Coffee grinds are a safe ingredient too. Good luck!
    Sue Swift said...
    This is just to let you know that I posted the link you sent for the garden Bloggers' Carnival today. It was a great post which made me laugh. Thanks
    Sue
    Anthony said...
    Thanks Sue! Here's the link in case anyone wants to see the other Garden Blogger Carnival posts.

    When is the next carnival Sue?
    The Green Panther said...
    Question ...

    I have (a) absolutely no yard -- just a concrete "patio" which gets little sun -- and (b)a raccoon problem. Food in my trash usually results in the can being turned over (luckily, the thing locks.)

    Would it be worth it for me to even attempt any sort of compost situation? Or should I just try to find a depository elsewhere? (I don't know of one around here.)
    Anthony said...
    Green Panther, I would say just stick to leaves and grass clippings(and maybe coffee grinds) but with no yard it may be hard to get leaves and grass clippings.

    Perhaps a worm bin would be better for you if you just want to compost kitchen waste.

    I don't know if your goal is to be green and reduce your waste or perhaps you want to create the compost for a garden (might be hard to garden with just a patio) but if you're not worried about the compost, maybe look into getting a garbage disposal. Good luck with whatever you decide.

    And thanks for visiting!
    The Green Panther said...
    Just trying to reduce waste at this point, since the lack of yard negates alot of other uses/reasons for compost. The landlord probably wouldn't be superexcited about a request for a garbage disposal ... but next apartment, who knows?

    Thanks for your answer!
    Lesley said...
    I have just finished planting out my spring bulbs in my own compost, complete with crushed eggshells to deter the slugs
    Steeny said...
    Turn, water, turn, water. That is the answer to home composting. You must get the CO2 out of the compost. check out the page at squidoo! I hope everyone tries to do it at home it is well worth the time.!
    Composting and Humus news

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